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Moses Brown’s near triple-double and a strong second half help UCLA rout Saint Francis

UCLA center Moses Brown, left, blocks a shot from Saint Francis guard Isaiah Blackmon during the first half of Friday’s game at Pauley Pavilion. Brown had eight blocks in the game. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA guard Chris Smith, left, celebrates with teammate David Singleton after scoring during the second half of Friday’s game against Saint Francis (Pa.) at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds UCLA guard Chris Smith reacts after scoring against Saint Francis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Saint Francis guard Keith Braxton (13) block a shot from UCLA guard Jaylen Hands during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Saint Francis guard Ramiir Dixon-Conover (1) is defended by UCLA guard Jules Bernard (3) and guard David Singleton (34) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA coach Steve Alford gestures from the bench during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Saint Francis Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Saint Francis forward Myles Thompson (5) drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Saint Francis guard Andre Wolford (14) is defended by UCLA guard Jaylen Hands during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA’s Moses Brown (1) dunks against Saint Francis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA’s Moses Brown, center, grabs a rebound against Saint Francis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA guard Chris Smith (5) dunks past Saint Francis forward Mark Flagg (42) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA guard Jaylen Hands soars to the basket for a dunk against Saint Francis (Pa.) during the second half of Friday’s game at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UCLA guard Jaylen Hands (4) celebrates after scoring against Saint Francis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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LOS ANGELES — Once Kris Wilkes got going, there was no stopping UCLA.
The star sophomore was held scoreless in the first half against Saint Francis (Pa.), but once he scored his first points of the game less than a minute into the second on a dunk, the No. 20 Bruins ran away with a 95-58 win at Pauley Pavilion on Friday night.
Wilkes, who missed all six of his first-half shots, came back to finish with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the second half as the Bruins shot 80.6 percent from the field after the break. Twelve of the team’s 25 made field goals after halftime were dunks.
Although UCLA’s star sophomore struggled early, freshman Moses Brown had no trouble picking up the slack. The 7-foot-1 center recorded a double-double in the first half and finished just two blocked shots short of a triple-double. With a team-high 23 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks, he is the first UCLA freshman to have three consecutive double-doubles to begin his career.
Wilkes and fellow sophomore Jaylen Hands, UCLA’s two leading men, were scoreless in the first half. They combined for 11 missed field-goal attempts. Wilkes was pulled less than four minutes into the game after the Bruins (3-0) fell behind 11-2.
Despite no offensive contribution from their star sophomores, the Bruins still mustered a seven-point halftime lead behind 12 points from Prince Ali and 10 from Brown. Even Brown got off to a relatively slow start, missing his first two shots. He had missed just two shots combined in the first two games.
The freshman added 11 first-half rebounds, but the Bruins were still outrebounded 31-27 before halftime.
The Red Flash, a Northeast Conference team that finished 18-13 last year, had four players on their roster listed at 6-8 or taller. Even with injuries to three frontcourt players, UCLA had five players taller than 6-8, and two, Wilkes and Chris Smith, are guards.
UCLA finally put its size to good use in the second half, finishing with 60 points in the paint and outrebounding the Red Flash 26-13 after halftime.
The Bruins had five players with double-digit points while Saint Francis had no one with more than nine. Freshman Jules Bernard had a career-high 18 points off the bench while Smith and Ali each finished with 14.
More to come on this story.

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